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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Striper Fishing Adventure on the Sheepscot River

 

Ben Audet with a Great Catch


On a beautiful Monday in the middle of June, Hamlin's Marine sent a battalion of eager Hamlin's Marine crew to fish the mighty Sheepscot River.  Our team was led by John Reynolds of Meadowbrook Guide Service, a valued customer and legendary guide in these parts.  

Tim Dutton, Hamlin's Waterville GM, is also a gentleman farmer.  He came up the day before to scout the river, and then stayed up all night preparing a feast for our crew that we ended up devouring later that night after 10 hours on the water.  


Check out this spread...


Our stable of boats included a Sea Chaser 20 HFC powered by a Yamaha VMax 150, a Carolina Skiff 23 Ultra Elite with a new Honda 225, and a Carolina Skiff 21 LS with a Yamaha VMax 115.  All told, we had over a dozen fishermen...so the poor fish were out numbered!

Carolina Skiff 21 LS Piloted by a Crew of Maine Maritime Cadets

One lively crew was our team of boat detailers and yard grunts from Hampden.  These boys are lifelong friends, and this was their final hurrah before they shipped out on the State of Maine as part of their education program with Maine Maritime Academy.  The boys were aggressive off the rocks...not sure how we didn't lose a lower unit or prop.  Dumb luck, I guess!

Ted wetting his line off a Sea Chaser 20 HFC

Andy Collar of Digital Spirit Media came along for this adventure and documented the action with drone and video footage.  He also spent some time interviewing us about the explosive growth of the recreational boat industry.  Take a look at this action packed video, and you will see how Hamlin's Marine is growing to meet the demands of our customers.






Monday, May 31, 2021

Growing Hamlin's Marine...The Good, The Bad, & the Ugly

 


Hamlin's Marine was founded in Waterville thirty-seven years ago by David and Christine Hamlin with a couple of employees.   In 2004, my wife Katie and I joined the family business.  By that time, David and Christine had created a thriving boat sales, service, and storage operation with twenty year-round employees.  

Katie and I were just married.  I'd left a brief international business career in Russia and a lucrative sales job to enter the world of small business and boating.  To me it sounded fun and maybe a little...easy.

Come on, how difficult is a job that requires selling toys and fun in the sun?



Easy was the furthest from the truth.  Keeping up with my In-Laws took everything I could muster.  No more cushy offices, lavish expenses; there was no shelter from our employees or our demanding customer base.  

Selling boats isn't the problem.  Taking candy from a baby can be harder than selling a boat right now.  Hamlin's was and is a boat sales machine.

The problem lies in servicing, repairing, cleaning, and storing the thousands of boats we've sold.


Providing exceptional service requires obtaining and retaining bright and motivated employees.  Not only that, but Hamlin's Marine has to constantly re-invest in equipment, buildings, and maintenance to keep up with the demand.

After the virus hit, we were shut down like many businesses; we feared losing it all.  As fate would have it, Hamlin's survived.  

And survive we did!  We've been red-lining boat sales for almost a year straight.  Hell, we sold a boat on New Year's Eve!

Hamlin's Marine has been hiring, training, upgrading, and spending like crazy to prepare for supersonic growth.

So, here Hamlin's stands in 2021 with over fifty full-time employees.  There are now three locations in Hampden, Waterville, and Belfast.  



The litmus test for our reputation for service is how we perform during the week before Memorial Day.  Hamlin's affectionately has coined this period Hell Week.  

This being my sixteenth Hell Week is the one I'll remember when I'm at the retirement home and too old to care.  Boy did we have our work cut out for us!  

The Waterville location broke the record for out of storage and new boat deliveries.  Over 150 boats were picked up or delivered to camps around the state in one week!

I stayed put in Hampden at the service yard.  The virus shutdown helped to create a bloodbath of turnover last year in Hampden.  2021 was the first season for the majority of our team in Hampden.  I am very proud of this team for pulling together to survive Hell Week.  Our staff in Hampden averaged fourteen hour days over the last couple weeks to attempt to meet demand.  



Unfortunately, we did disappoint a few customers.  We took some lumps on social media and saw a few bad reviews.  Katie and I take these attacks personally.  Our employees all read the comments and feel the pain as well.  Bad reviews and social media attacks provide the fuel we need to come in earlier, work harder, and grow to meet demand.

After a couple days of reflection, Hamlin's Marine will be back at it again.  We do it for the love of providing happiness and joy to our customers who get to be out on the water.  That is the only thing that  makes it all Easy!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Bennington Does It Again...

 

Virtual QXP Model


Leave it to Bennington to incorporate cutting edge technology into their website.  The Bennington pontoon consumer website just went crazy virtual.

Bennington has always been miles ahead of the competition when it comes to innovation, styling, and performance.  Now, leave it to Bennington...it's like they commissioned Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg to build their website.  

Bennington was first to the market with Simtex vinyl (soft cloth-like seats...not shiny, sticky plastic that cracks in the sun).  They were first to develop the swing back seating option instead of the old L Box that took up too much space.

Swing Back Seating

And Bennington was first to decide it wasn't a pipe dream to build a pontoon boat big enough and powerful enough to combat the ocean.


Hamlin's Marine is going to be featuring a full display of Bennington Pontoon Boats  at our upcoming Freshwater Boat Sale at our new showroom on the Belfast waterfront on March 11th-14th.   Click Here for full details.

In the meantime, make sure you take a trip to another dimension and build you dream Bennington on the new website:  http://www.benningtonmarine.com.


Your New Bennington





Monday, February 15, 2021

No Boat Shows? No Problem!

 

Augusta Boat Show 2020

Last year, Hamlin's Marine had an outstanding Augusta Boat Show in Mid-March.  We were in our element at the Augusta Civic Center, and everyone one was excited for summer and the upcoming boating season!  Triple toons, surf boats, deck boats, jet boats...they were all selling.  The sales team definitely had a few too many at Ruby Tuesday's on Saturday night.

After that, the Sportman's Shows and the Bangor Boat Show were cancelled.   And for the next year, all we heard was...6 Feet Apart, The New Normal, Masks, Social Distancing, Plexiglass, Home School, Cohorts, Moderna, Pfizer, Pandemic, Curbside Takeout, Curfews, Cancel Culture, Zoom Meetings, Urban Flight, etc., etc.

Well Cancel Culture is still in effect, so the Boat Shows are still a no go.  But...nothing, I mean nothing is going to slow down the boating season in 2021.  There's lots of hope on the horizon; there is nothing better on this earth than spending a day on the water with friends and family...especially now!

If you are in the market for a new boat or docking this year, Hamlin's Marine has scheduled three sales events over then next couple months.  Attend one of these sales events, and you will be able to shop our massive inventory and take advantage of manufacturer incentives and discounts.

Event Schedule:


Belfast Freshwater Boat Sale

Thursday, March 11th                  10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Friday, March 12th                      10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Saturday, March 13th                   10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Sunday, March 14th                      10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

 Hamlin's will feature over thirty packages on sale from Bennington Pontoons, Mastercraft, Hurricane, Alumacraft, G3, WeldcraftCarolina Skiff, Godfrey, Stingray, and Chris-Craft.



Belfast Candock 48 Hour Sale

Friday, March 26th                         10:00 AM- 6:00 PM

Saturday, March 27th                      10:00 AM- 6:00 PM

Hamlin's will feature Candock Modular Docking Systems.  20% off all docking, boat lift, and jetslide purchases during this two day event.


Belfast Saltwater Boat Sale

Thursday, April 8th                      10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Friday, April 9th                          10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Saturday, April 10th                     10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Sunday, April 11th                         10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

 Hamlin's will feature over thirty packages on sale from Jeanneau, Scout, SeaChaser, Puffin BoatsHurricaneWeldcraftCarolina Skiff,  and Chris-Craft.

Looking to seeing you all and showing you the best that Hamlin's Marine has to offer!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Candock Modular Docking Systems In Stock Now

 


Hamlin's Marine has the perfect solution for your waterfront with Candock Modular Floating Dock Systems.



Candock interlocking cubes are quick to install and anchor.  Make the switch from pressure-treated or aluminum docks and lifts, and you will thank yourself for years to come.



Whether you are looking for simple access to the water or an elaborate recreation platform, Candock has you covered.


Best of all, Hamlin's Marine will deliver your custom designed dock, or you can choose one of our discounted pre-assembled packages.

Discount Package #1 STR 30:


This dock package includes all the hardware and blocks for a 30' x 4.75' dock.  

Discounted Price: 

$5153 + tax 

* estimate $500 for anchoring tackle depending on waterfront

Discount Package #2 L25 x 30:


This dock package includes all the blocks and hardware for a 30' straight section and a 25' L section dock.

Discounted Price:

$8830 + tax

* estimate $750 for anchoring tackle depending on waterfront

Discount Package #3 T28 x 30:



This dock package includes all the blocks and hardware for a 30' straight section and 28 1/2' T section dock.

$9469 + tax

*estimate $1000 for anchoring tackle depending on waterfront

Mention this blog when placing your order with Hamlin's Marine and receive an additional 10% off on these packages!

Candock Sales Representatives:

Waterville

Josh Hutchinson 

jhutchinson@hamlinsmarine.com

(207) 872 5660

Hampden

Chris Jordan 

cjordan@hamlinsmarina.com

(207) 907 4385

Belfast

Jason Phippen

jphippen@hamlinsmarina.com

(207) 930 3780



Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Secure Your New 2021 Boat Package at Hamlin's Marine Now

 



Our Hampden, Waterville, and Belfast Showrooms are open now for the 2021 season.  As anticipated, the new boat market is red hot, and we are already busy putting boat packages together to launch as soon as the ice goes out.  

Interest rates are low, and for now...we've got a good stock of inventory from brands like Bennington, Godfrey, Hurricane, Mastercraft, Stingray, Chris Craft, Carolina Skiff, Jeanneau, Scout, Sea Chaser, Alumacraft, G3, Weldcraft, Scarab, and Puffin Boat Company.

For our complete inventory check out our website.  

You can shop, chat, text, and put a deposit on your new boat package right on the website, or you can make an in-person appointment with a salesperson if you prefer.

All of us at Hamlin's knew that boats would be scarce this spring, so Hamlin's Marine went out and made friends with a bunch of new boat companies last year including Weldcraft, Carolina Skiff, Sea Chaser, Alumacraft, Hurricane, Godfrey, and G3.   These new brands offer great value and quality.  Our veteran brands also have great deals now.  

Here are our best deals available now for Spring delivery:


1. Hurricane Sundeck 235 OB


This beautiful deckboat with sculpted walkthrough windshield, deluxe marine upholstery, head, and plenty of room for friends is equally comfortable on a lake or Penobscot Bay.  From a styling standpoint, this is the best looking deckboat I've seen come down the pipe.

The deal...

Only one of these babies on order in Monaco Blue loaded up with a Big Garmin GPS/FF, RGB Underwater Lights, Fusion Upgraded Audio Package, Gorgeous Sandstone & Charcoal Snap In Flooring, Upgraded Steering Wheel, Blacked Out Windshield Frame, Coastal Edition Package, Stainless Steel Upgrade, Dash Phone Holder, Woodgrain Stern Table, Pumpout Toilet, Canvas, and Yamaha F200XB.

Available now for delivery to your personal paradise for $59,995.

2. Weldcraft 18 Angler Sport


After a few years of attending the Seattle Boat Show and drooling over heavy gauge aluminum west coast fishing boats, Hamlin's Marine made the leap with Weldcraft.  If you aren't sold on Weldcraft, you will be after watching this video: 


The deal...

Every boat on the lake will be crossing lines to check out this Weldcraft with plate aluminum, precision welds, massive fishing cockpit, and giant side walls.  Hamlin's has two on order powered by a Yamaha F115 and trailer starting at $41,314.

3. Alumacraft Escape 145CS


Alumacraft is back at Hamlin's Marine after a couple of years off.  Bombardier purchased Alumacraft to jumpstart Evinrude E-Tec sales, but Evinrude ceased production last year.  Now Yamaha is allowed back on the transom, and the world is rejoicing!

The deal...

Best compact fishing package for a couple adults. Yamaha F25, trailer, and mooring cover for only $16,495.

4. Sea Chaser 20 HFC


Hamlin's delivered our first Sea Chasers last fall, and our customers couldn't be happier with the features, styling, and quality.  A 20' Center Console is the most sought after coastal boat in Maine.  The 20 HFC with Yamaha F150 delivers!

The deal...

We have a 20 HFC coming in with a Solid Black Hull, Black Powder Coat T-Top, Flip Up Console with Head & Changing Curtain, Deluxe Leaning Post, Sea Star Hydraulic Steering, Stainless Flush Mount Rod Holders, Yamaha F150, and Tandem Axle Trailer for only $59,849.

5. Stingray 172 SC Deckboat


Hamlin's has a limited allocation of Stingray's newest model the 172 SC Deckboat.  This is a little package with Napoleon Complex.  Full big boat features include lots of seating with options including Full Hull Color, Bimini Top, Ski Tow Cage, Stainless Hardware, Helm Bucket Seat with Bolster, Tilt Steering, Fishing Package with Livewell, and a Cover.  Several incoming packages available for less than $30,000.

6. Carolina Skiff 192 JLS


This package makes me drool, as I love to chase fish.  I rarely catch them, but nonetheless...Carolina Skiff makes you look like a pro.  This 192 JLS is long, but skinny allowing for easy trailering and exploring.  It has a shallow draft with a big HP capacity if you want it.  A Yamaha F90 is more than adequate...but who wants adequate?

The deal...

Complete Hull Color, Bimini Top, 24V Trolling Motor Plug, Yamaha F90, and Trailer for only...$31,495.

Call, Text, FB Message, Send a Messenger Pigeon, Smoke Signal, Flare, or Just Stop in with Mask and Get Your Boat!





Thursday, October 1, 2020

Don't Be Scared To Buy a Boat Sale

 



Our annual Don't Be Scared to Buy a Boat Sale is finally here at Hamlin's MarineJust like everything else this godforsaken year...things are a little different in the world of boating.
 
 First off, there simply aren't enough boats, motors, and trailers to meet the demand across the country.  Urban flight has taken hold and millions of people are choosing free time in the great outdoors over grueling commutes and over-priced lattes. 

There has never been a better time to buy a boat in the fall than right now, and we are offering great incentives to buy now:



 

 

Don't Be Scared to Buy a Boat now if you plan on being on the water in Maine next year.  Hamlin's has inventory now, as well as some excellent new options like Weldcraft hardcore aluminum fishing boats.

 


 

Or, check out Hurricane deck boats for family-friendly fun.

  


 
Want a deal? Check out these budget-friendly holdover hitlist packages:

New 2017 Alumacraft T-Pro 195 with Yamaha VMax 175 loaded with high-end electronics package.  Was $50,944 Now $36,500! 

 


New 2020 Stingray 225 SE with 6.2 L Mercruiser Was $61,240 Now $55,979!

 
 


New 2020 Scout 215 Dorado with Yamaha F150 Was $65,062 Now $62,995! 


New 2020 Leader 9.0 Walk Around with Twin Yamaha F250s Was $168,020 Now $154,975! 


New 2020 Mastercraft X22 Surf Boat Was $176,272 Now $154,968! 

 

New 2019 Chris Craft 28 GT Launch with Yamaha F425 Was $278,446 Now $195,495 !